Officer revives infant after car flips in ditch

Posted: Tuesday, September 05, 2006

ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage Police Department sergeant revived an infant trapped in water an estimated five minutes after a car flipped near a marsh.

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Five-month-old Ellen Kennedy was a passenger in a car that flipped and landed in water Sunday morning in a ditch across from Potter Marsh. Witnesses pulled her from the car and handed her to police Sgt. Robert Glen, who administered CPR and revived the child.

A driver of a second car has been charged with driving under the influence, police said.

Police arrested Ryoichi Asao, 36, on charges of drunken driving and assault, Glen said.

The baby was riding in a Jeep sport utility vehicle driven by her mother, Kim Kennedy, 37. Asao was driving a Chevrolet Suburban, police said.

Witnesses said Asao and Kennedy at about 10:30 a.m. passed other motorists just as the roadway changes from four lanes to two. Kennedy's car was in front. Police said Asao's Suburban struck Kennedy's car from behind.

Asao's vehicle left the road on the east side. The Jeep landed upside-down on the west side of the roadway.

The baby was strapped in a car seat in the back and was trapped under water for about five minutes, said Glen, who arrived within two minutes of the accident call.

Witnesses helped turn the Jeep upright, discovered the baby in the back and pulled her out through a broken window, Glen said. The baby was blue and not breathing, Glen said.

He feared she was dead, but he was able to revive her using CPR. Anchorage Fire Department paramedics continued emergency treatment.

Police said the Kennedys were transported to a hospital and were listed in fair condition Monday. Officers diverted traffic on the busy highway until almost 2 p.m.

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